The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) participates in the U.S. Outpatient Influenza-like Illness Surveillance Network (ILINet), in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state and local health departments, and volunteer sentinel providers across the county. ILINet consists of more than 3,000 surveillance sites in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands reporting over 25 million patient visits each year. Data provided by the ILINet providers, in combination with other influenza surveillance data, provide a national picture of influenza virus and ILI activity in the U.S.
Who can be an ILINet Provider?
Providers of any specialty (e.g., family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, infectious disease) in any type of practice (e.g., private practice, public health clinic, urgent care center, emergency room, university student health center) are eligible to be ILINet providers.
What data do ILINet providers collect and how is this information reported?
ILINet providers report each week the total number of patient visits and the number of patient visits for influenza-like illness (ILI) by age group (0-4 years, 5-24 years, 25-49 years, 50-64 years, >65 years).
These data are transmitted once a week via the Internet to a central data repository at CDC. Most providers report that it takes them less than 30 minutes a week to compile & report their data.
Influenza viruses are constantly evolving and cause substantial morbidity and mortality (approximately 36,000 deaths) every year. Data from sentinel providers are critical for monitoring the impact of influenza and, in combination with other influenza surveillance data, can be used to guide prevention and control activities, vaccine strain selection, and patient care. Sentinel providers receive feedback on the data submitted, summaries of regional and national influenza data, and a free subscription to CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report and Emerging Infectious Diseases journal. The most important consideration is that the data provided are critical for protecting the public’s health.